Churches say Home Secretary's comments on immigrants could incite racism

 Churches in the UK have dismissed government calls on the immigrant community to do more to adopt British "norms of acceptability" in order to integrate, as simplistic and potentially an incitement to racism. Yesterday, Home Secretary David Blunkett made the comments, ahead of reports into this summer's riots in Bradford, Burnley and Oldham, which are expected to identify segregation and alienation as the cause of the troubles. The Moderator of the Churches' Commission for Racial Justice, (part of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland - CTBI) Rev Arlington Trotman, said: "We need to address the real issues of poverty and alienation of minority ethnic communities, particularly among young people, which were key causes of the unrest last summer. It is not enough to say superficially that people should learn English and adopt British norms." Rev Trotman, said: "The Home Secretary's call to minority ethnic communities to social cohesion and to develop a sense of belonging, can be understood positively, but it incorrectly places the burden of integration on the immigrant community. The use of potentially inflammatory language to express the need for true integration - which must be the object of every person in multi-ethnic Britain - could provide racists and those inclined to break the law with their excuse." Churches Together represent all the major Churches in Britain and Ireland. For more information about their work visit their website at

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